With Support From Esme.

Rock City Nottingham 19th May 2013.

Tonight’s gig at Rock City, truly was an under the radar event. If it hadn’t been for Evil Scarecrows Manager publiclysuggesting people go watch Purson, I’d probably not given it a second thought – but I’m glad I did. For the ridiculously low price of £3 a ticket to watch these extravagant eccentrics and masters of their craft was a bargin. If you didn’t go, believe me you missed something special and based on just tonight’s performance alone, I predict this band is going to be BIG!

The support act tonight came in the form of Esme, a solo singer/songwriter from Nottingham. A little bit of background infor uncovered states that her musical style is, and I quote ” gothic folk rock, playing a mix of dark self written songs alongside well-known rock and metal hits, with an acoustic twist.” Her influences are clearly Evanessence, but I am aware she’s a big Metallica fan, so that’s something we share.


Esme (SpiderWitch) gracefully took to the stage that had been transformed into her own little Esme Land, complete with her Marshall amp all decorated in fairy lights and her mic stand wrapped up like a Christmas Tree and began her performance tonight. Accompanying her on stage was her sleek black acoustic guitar which she truly mastered and used to it’s full potential, helping to bring her music to life.

Mr Marshall Amp

With such a powerful, hypnotic voice and her beautiful original material, I can easily see the appeal and agree with why people suggested her to support tonight, a true local talent, the experience was an absolute pleasure and I hope to catch another performance soon as Esme certainly cast a magical spell on all of us in attendence tonight.


Set list included: 1. Anymore  2. Lay Me Down  3. Last Supper  4. The Howling  5. Forever Wild

With the night warmed up nicely and the crowds drawing in to listen to, who I’d consider to be a very good prospect, Purson. Noticeably, Purson doesn’t compute, so I did some research and discovered the name in demonology, is given to a great king of Hell… whether that’s relevant or not to the band is another story, but interesting all the same. Purson was formed after Rosie split from the band Ipso Facto in 2009 and sonce then she’s worked towards a new band with different line-ups, eventually becoming Purson in 2011, with the current line up consisting of Rosalie Cunningham on vocals and lead guitar, George Hudson on guitar and BV’s, Samuel Shove on Organ, Mellotron and Wurlitzer, Justin Smith on bass and Jack Hobbs on drums.

Jack Hobbs - Purson

Their debut album ‘The Circle And The Blue Door’, which was released on Rise Above Records, has received rave reviews from the media and all suggesting this band to be something more than just a little bit special so as I knew I was going to be reviewing the band tonight, I obviously did some research of my own.

Justin Smith - Purson

My first port of call was Spotify and here I found two of their previous singles, ‘Leaning On A Bear’ a two track EP, the title of which is a real 60’s throw bacak and an incredible single. The other track was ‘Rocking Horse’, which was a four track EP and included songs such as ‘Hollow’ and ‘Spiderwood Farm’ which really captured my imagination and got me excited about tonight’s show. Incidentlly, being a massive vinyl fan, I was pleased to see them offer a vinyl version of the album. The first two EP’s are currently sold out, but their debut album is still available in black, red or gold vinyl, so I think it may just well be the gold version for me!

Samuel Shrove -  Purson

Personally, I thought tonight was bloody brilliant! Each member of the band knew what they what they were doing, and they all worked and sounded great together. Rosalie is a very attractive woman who can play the guitar extremely well and at one point, she even used the mic stand to run the neck of her guitar down to play! The rest of the band had a retro 60’s look going on and their music has to be likened to that era too and I tend to agree, but with an updated, fresh sound that is very much current.

Rosalie Cunningham - Purson

If you read my reviews regularly, you will know that I try to match bands I’m talking about with others of a similar style and this time, my comparison is a bit of a corker. A friend stated that Purson reminded him of Steely Dan, but I reckon they sound more like Shocking Blue who are known for that track ‘Send Me A Postcard’. If you like your music drenched with guitar riffs, amazing vocals with some obscurely original song writing, then you simply gotta go check Purson out for yourself!


Set list included: 1. Spiderwood Farm  2. Leaning On A Bear  3. Rocking Horse  4. Well Spoiled Machine  5. Sapphire Ward  6. The Contract  7. Two’s and Ones.

Words and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)